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Am J Public Health. 1995 November; 85(11): 1514–1520.
PMCID: PMC1615688

Condom use among female commercial sex workers in Nevada's legal brothels.


OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to evaluate condom use and the incidence of breakage and slippage during vaginal intercourse among female prostitutes in legal Nevada brothels, where use of condoms is required by law. METHODS. Forty-one licensed prostitutes in three brothels were enrolled in a prospective trial in August 1993. Used condoms were collected to verify reported breaks visually. Retrospective breakage and slippage rates were obtained in a standardized interview. RESULTS. Condoms were used for every act of vaginal intercourse with a brothel client during the study period, as well as in the previous year. In the prospective study phase, condoms were used in 353 acts of vaginal intercourse with clients. No condoms broke, and none fell off the penis during intercourse. Only twice (0.6%) did condoms completely fall off during withdrawal. Twelve times (3.4%) during intercourse and 15 times (4.3%) during withdrawal, condoms slipped down the penis but did not fall off. CONCLUSIONS. These findings, among the lowest breakage and slippage rates published, suggest that regular condom use may lead to condom mastery and the development of techniques to reduce the likelihood of breakage and slippage.

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